It’s where we met. Where we got married. Where our story began. Dallas will always hold a special place in our hearts and we were due for a reunion trip back. After having been gone for three years, we were in a constant state of nostalgia – “Aw! The random ice machine!” he exclaimed as we drove down Ross Avenue. Dallas, in all of its glittering neon glory, does a few things very, very well. Things like brunch and mister fans and an incredibly wide range of talent in the music arena. There’s also Tex Mex that deserves a line of its own. They also heartily believe that newer is better, so if there’s a site on your list to be seen, get there quick before its covered in neon lights. They love their neighborhoods, so I’ll chart our Dallas city guide highlighting the main ones.
I’ll start off where it all began..
The Trammell Crow Center. The 18th floor, to be exact. More than just the high-rise that started both of our careers and introduced us, TCC houses an incredible collection of Asian art called the Crow Collection. Just don’t bring your sweet mama if you don’t want to explain why the illustrations show those two people in so many awkward positions! heh
In fact, the Arts District is filled with jewels. Mural walls (great for engagement sessions, by the way) and first-class museums. Our favorite being the Nasher and if you live in the area, I highly recommend joining the Avant-Garde Society for an incomparable tour of the art scene in Dallas. Further into downtown, the Magnolia is an excellent hotel for your stay. I’m telling you as an expert on the matter, as we hunted down hotel options for our out of town wedding guests. Hunted. Chocolate cookies on pillows and all, this is the sweet spot.
Even further down in Oak Cliff, the dinner tables of Bolsa have seen many a major life moment for the then-soon-to-be Montgomerys. If there is a show playing at The Kessler, do yourself a favor and get tickets. The Belmont Hotel is our fave for after dinner drinks given the spectacular view of downtown. Bonus if you catch a Barefoot at the Belmont concert series for a show on the lawn set against the well-lit skyline. Also in the neighborhood, Jonathon’s serves up a mean brunch with their Bloody Mary bar.
The gateway between downtown to uptown is the Klyde Warren Park. It was finished right after we left for Brussels, so we needed to take a peek. Music playing and drinks pouring with misters blowing over the tables, it makes for a good weekend afternoon.
Gloria’s goes hand-in-hand with black bean dip. You’ll find this local chain peppered throughout the city – right when you’re in need of a margarita break.
We paid a visit to the husband’s alma matter on our trip. At SMU, they boulevard, which essentially means they gather around this one boulevard in an orderly and overly dressed fashion. I have a tendency to say it just seems to be an odd way of tailgating, but to each their own. They’re picky about the Georgian style architecture, and pointing out the one building on campus that wasn’t red brick to Justin seemed to have touched a nerve, idk. Anyway, if you’ve got a history buff on your hands or an addiction to knowledge like J, a visit to the new Bush Library on campus is worth your while. The Meadows Museum is worth a visit too, even if you’re just going to gawk at the giant head out front.
The wedding cake tradition. You know the one where you stick some leftovers in the freezer and eat it one your first anniversary? Well, we got somewhat robbed of it since we packed up and moved over to Europe shortly after the wedding, so our cake eating festivities were slightly accelerated. It left us dreaming of our cake for three long years though, so a call to Dallas Affaires to arrange for a few slices was in order. We packed them up and headed over to White Rock Lake for a little cake picnic. Yum.
El Bolero is one of the new hot spots, so we’re told. It lived up to the hype with some delicious mexican fare down in Lower Oak Lawn with yet another gorgeous view of the skyline. It’s actually the exact opposite of the view from our favorite dive bar, Elbow Room located in Deep Ellum. And if you’re in the hood, make room for brunch or music at All Good Café. If you visited me at any time in the three years I lived there, you most likely had an epic morning at said café.
I’d be remiss not to tell you about HG Sply Co. and mostly because I heard about that and Trinity Groves from everyone we caught up with that weekend. Everyone. Some fancy frozen drinks on the rooftop (with misters, duh) with some good friends was a great way to round up our trip. Right next door, Steel City Pops will help cool you off from this Texas heat. (Give it to Dallas to make popsicles trendy!) Wandering down Lower Greenville took us past some of our old favorite spots like Good Records, and if you can catch a show at the Granada, you won’t be disappointed.
We didn’t even talk about shopping! How are we going to keep up with the level of trendy in this town without new digs?! I’m a boutique store kind of gal, so my go-tos are down Knox-Henderson. The Gypsy Wagon has my heart, but Milk & Honey is a close second and much easier on my twenty-something budget. *wink. West Village in Uptown is walking friendly, so you can blow your budget and then take it out on a Tex Mex patio footsteps away!
Aaaand similar goals take us on out –
Tell me – have you been to Dallas or do you live there and have spots to add?